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  • Journal article
    Arezzo A, Francis N, Mintz Y, Adamina M, Antoniou SA, Bouvy N, Copaescu C, de Manzini N, Di Lorenzo N, Morales-Conde S, Mueller-Stich BP, Nickel F, Popa D, Tait D, Thomas C, Nimmo S, Paraskevis D, Pietrabissa Aet al., 2020,

    EAES recommendations for recovery plan in minimally invasive surgery amid COVID-19 pandemic

    , SURGICAL ENDOSCOPY AND OTHER INTERVENTIONAL TECHNIQUES, Vol: 35, Pages: 1-17, ISSN: 0930-2794

    BackgroundCOVID-19 pandemic presented an unexpected challenge for the surgical community in general and Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) specialists in particular. This document aims to summarize recent evidence and experts’ opinion and formulate recommendations to guide the surgical community on how to best organize the recovery plan for surgical activity across different sub-specialities after the COVID-19 pandemic.MethodsRecommendations were developed through a Delphi process for establishment of expert consensus. Domain topics were formulated and subsequently subdivided into questions pertinent to different surgical specialities following the COVID-19 crisis. Sixty-five experts from 24 countries, representing the entire EAES board, were invited. Fifty clinicians and six engineers accepted the invitation and drafted statements based on specific key questions. Anonymous voting on the statements was performed until consensus was achieved, defined by at least 70% agreement.ResultsA total of 92 consensus statements were formulated with regard to safe resumption of surgery across eight domains, addressing general surgery, upper GI, lower GI, bariatrics, endocrine, HPB, abdominal wall and technology/research. The statements addressed elective and emergency services across all subspecialties with specific attention to the role of MIS during the recovery plan. Eighty-four of the statements were approved during the first round of Delphi voting (91.3%) and another 8 during the following round after substantial modification, resulting in a 100% consensus.ConclusionThe recommendations formulated by the EAES board establish a framework for resumption of surgery following COVID-19 pandemic with particular focus on the role of MIS across surgical specialities. The statements have the potential for wide application in the clinical setting, education activities and research work across different healthcare systems.

  • Report
    O'Brien N, Martin G, Grass E, Durkin M, Ghafur Set al., 2020,

    Safeguarding our healthcare systems: A global framework for cybersecurity

    , Publisher: World Innovation Summit for Health
  • Journal article
    Avery J, Shulakova D, Runciman M, Mylonas GP, Darzi Aet al., 2020,

    Tactile sensor for minimally invasive surgery using Electrical Impedance Tomography

    , IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics, Vol: 2, Pages: 561-564, ISSN: 2576-3202

    Whilst offering numerous benefits to patients, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has a disadvantage in the loss of tactile feedback to the surgeon, traditionally offering valuable qualitative tissue assessment, such as tumour identification and localisation. Tactile sensors aim to overcome this loss of sensation by detecting tissue characteristics such as stiffness, composition and temperature. Tactile sensors have previously been incorporated into MIS robotic end effectors, which require lengthy scanning procedures due to localised sensitivity. Distributed tactile sensors, or “artificial skin” offer a map of tissue properties in a single instance but are often not suitable for MIS applications due to limited biocompatibility or large collapsed volumes. We propose a deployable, soft, tactile sensor with a deformable saline chamber and integrated Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) electrodes. During contact with tissue, the saline is displaced from the chamber and the lesion size and stiffness can be inferred from the resultant impedance changes. Through optimisation of the EIT measurement protocol and hardware the sensor was capable of localising the centre of mass of palpation targets within 1.5 mm in simulation and 2.3–4.6mm in phantom experiments. Reconstructed image metrics differentiated target objects from 8–30 mm.

  • Journal article
    Harkanen M, Franklin BD, Murrells T, Rafferty AM, Vehvilainen-Julkunen Ket al., 2020,

    Factors contributing to reported medication administration incidents in patients' homes - A text mining analysis

    , JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING, Vol: 76, Pages: 3573-3583, ISSN: 0309-2402
  • Journal article
    Aufegger L, Bùi KH, Bicknell C, Darzi Aet al., 2020,

    Designing a paediatric hospital information tool with children, parents, and healthcare staff: a UX study

    , BMC Pediatrics, Vol: 20, ISSN: 1471-2431

    BACKGROUND: The hospital patient pathway for having treatment procedures can be daunting for younger patients and their family members, especially when they are about to undergo a complex intervention. Opportunities to mentally prepare young patients for their hospital treatments, e.g. for surgical procedures, include tools such as therapeutic clowns, medical dolls, or books and board games. However, while promising in reducing pre-operative anxiety and negative behaviours, they may be resource intensive, costly, and not always readily available. In this study, we co-designed a digital hospital information system with children, parents and clinicians, in order to prepare children undergoing medical treatment. METHOD: The study took place in the UK and consisted of two parts: In part 1, we purposively sampled 37 participants (n=22 parents, and n=15 clinicians) to understand perceptions and concerns of an hospital information platform specifically design for and addressed to children. In part 2, 14 children and 11 parents attended an audio and video recorded co-design workshop alongside a graphic designer and the research team to have their ideas explored and reflected on for the design of such information technology. Consequently, we used collected data to conduct thematic analysis and narrative synthesis. RESULTS: Findings from the survey were categorised into four themes: (1) the prospect of a hospital information system (parents' inputs); (2) content-specific information needed for the information system (parents' and clinicians' inputs); (3) using the virtual information system to connect young patients and parents (parents' inputs); and (4) how to use the virtual hospital information system from a clinician's perspective (clinicians' inputs). In contrast, the workshop highlighted points in times children were most distressed/relaxed, and derived the ideal hospital visit in both their and their parents' perspectives. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the use of v

  • Journal article
    Aufegger L, Khanh Ha B, Colin B, Ara Det al., 2020,

    Developing a paediatric virtual hospital information system with children, parents, and healthcare staff: A UX design study

    , BMC Pediatrics, Vol: 20, ISSN: 1471-2431

    BackgroundThe hospital patient pathway for having treatment procedures can be daunting for younger patients and their family members, especially when they are about to undergo a complex intervention. Opportunities to mentally prepare young patients for their hospital treatments, e.g. for surgical procedures, include tools such as therapeutic clowns, medical dolls, or books and board games. However, while promising in reducing pre-operative anxiety and negative behaviours, they may be resource intensive, costly, and not always readily available. In this study, we co-designed a digital hospital information system with children, parents and clinicians, in order to prepare children undergoing medical treatment.MethodThe study took place in the UK and consisted of two parts: In part 1, we purposively sampled 37 participants (n=22 parents, and n=15 clinicians) to understand perceptions and concerns of an hospital information platform specifically design for and addressed to children. In part 2, 14 children and 11 parents attended an audio and video recorded co-design workshop alongside a graphic designer and the research team to have their ideas explored and reflected on for the design of such information technology. Consequently, we used collected data to conduct thematic analysis and narrative synthesis.ResultsFindings from the survey were categorised into four themes: (1) the prospect of a hospital information system (parents’ inputs); (2) content-specific information needed for the information system (parents’ and clinicians’ inputs); (3) using the virtual information system to connect young patients and parents (parents’ inputs); and (4) how to use the virtual hospital information system from a clinician’s perspective (clinicians’ inputs). In contrast, the workshop highlighted points in times children were most distressed/relaxed, and derived the ideal hospital visit in both their and their parents’ perspectives.ConclusionsTh

  • Journal article
    Huf S, Kerrison RS, King D, Chadborn T, Richmond A, Cunningham D, Friedman E, Shukla H, Tseng F-M, Judah G, Darzi A, Vlaev Iet al., 2020,

    Behavioral economics informed message content in text message reminders to improve cervical screening participation: Two pragmatic randomized controlled trials

    , Preventive Medicine, Vol: 139, ISSN: 0091-7435

    The objective of the reported research was to assess the impact of text message (SMS) reminders and their content on cervical screening rates. Women invited for cervical screening in Northwest London from February-October 2015 were eligible. 3133 women aged 24-29 (Study 1) were randomized (1, 1) to 'no SMS' (control), or a primary care physician (PCP) endorsed SMS (SMS-PCP). 11,405 women aged 30-64 (Study 2), were randomized (1, 1:1:1:1:1:1) to either: no SMS, an SMS without manipulation (SMS), the SMS-PCP, an SMS with a total or proportionate social norm (SMS-SNT or SMS-SNP), or an SMS with a gain-framed or loss-framed message (SMS-GF and SMS-LF). The primary outcome was participation at 18 weeks. In Study 1 participation was significantly higher in the SMS-PCP arm (31.4%) compared to control (26.4%, aOR, 1.29, 95%CI: 1.09-1·51; p = 0.002). In Study 2 participation was highest in the SMS-PCP (38.4%) and SMS (38.1%) arms compared to control (34.4%), (aOR: 1.19, 95%CI: 1.03-1.38; p = 0.02 and aOR: 1.18, 95%CI: 1.02-1.37; p = 0.03, respectively). The results demonstrate that behavioral SMSs improve cervical screening participation. The message content plays an important role in the impact of SMS. The results from this trial have already been used to designing effective policy for cervical cancer screening. The NHS Cervical Screening Programme started running a London-wide screening SMS campaign which was based on the cervical screening trial described here. According to figures published by Public Health England, after six months attendance increased by 4.8%, which is the equivalent of 13,400 more women being screened at 18 weeks.

  • Journal article
    Maurice J, Lett A, Skinner C, Lim A, Richardson M, Painadath Thomas A, Summers P, Vyas K, Tadbier A, Vilar R, Kuimova M, Miodragovic S, Vergis N, Kelly P, Cordeiro M, Hoare J, Darzi A, Goldin R, Thursz M, Thompson Aet al., 2020,

    Transcutaneous fluorescence spectroscopy as a tool for non-invasive monitoring of gut function: first clinical experiences

    , Scientific Reports, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2045-2322

    Gastro-intestinal function plays a vital role in conditions ranging from inflammatory bowel disease and HIV through to sepsis and malnutrition. However, the techniques that are currently used to assess gut function are either highly invasive or unreliable. Here we present an alternative, non-invasive sensing modality for assessment of gut function based on fluorescence spectroscopy. In this approach, patients receive an oral dose of a fluorescent contrast agent and a fibre-optic probe is used to make fluorescence measurements through the skin. This provides a readout of the degree to which fluorescent dyes have permeated from the gut into the blood stream. We present preliminary results from our first measurements in human volunteers demonstrating the potential of the technique for non-invasive monitoring of multiple aspects of gastro-intestinal health.

  • Journal article
    Aufegger L, Alabi M, Darzi A, Bicknell Cet al., 2020,

    Sharing leadership: current attitudes, barriers and needs of clinical and non-clinical managers in UK’s integrated care system

    , BMJ Leader, Vol: 4, Pages: 128-134, ISSN: 2398-631X

    Background As systems become more complex, shared leadership (SL) has been suggested to have a dominant role in improving cross-functional working tailored to organisational needs. Little, however, is known about the benefits of SL in healthcare management, especially for UK’s recently formed integrated care system (ICS). The aim of this study was to understand current attitudes, barriers and needs of clinical and non-clinical managers sharing leadership responsibilities in the ICS.Method Twenty clinical and non-clinical leaders in 15 organisations were interviewed to understand current cross-functional leadership collaborations, and the potential SL may have on the recently established ICS in the National Health Service (NHS). The data were transcribed and analysed thematically.Results Findings showed perceptions and experiences of clinical and non-clinical healthcare management in relation to: (1) motivation to execute a leadership position, including the need to step up and a sense of duty; (2) attitudes towards interdisciplinary working, which is reflected in conflicts due to different values and expertise; (3) SL skills and behaviours, including the need for mutual understanding and cooperative attitudes by means of effective communication and collaboration; and (4) barriers to achieve SL in the ICS, such as bureaucracy, and a lack of time and support.Conclusions SL may help improve current leadership cultures within the NHS; however, for SL to have a tangible impact, it needs to be delivered as part of leadership development for doctors in postgraduate training, and development programmes for aspiring, emerging and established leaders, with clear lines of communication.

  • Journal article
    Davids J, Manivannan S, Darzi A, Giannarou S, Ashrafian H, Marcus HJet al., 2020,

    Simulation for skills training in neurosurgery: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and analysis of progressive scholarly acceptance.

    , Neurosurgical Review, Vol: 44, Pages: 1853-1867, ISSN: 0344-5607

    At a time of significant global unrest and uncertainty surrounding how the delivery of clinical training will unfold over the coming years, we offer a systematic review, meta-analysis, and bibliometric analysis of global studies showing the crucial role simulation will play in training. Our aim was to determine the types of simulators in use, their effectiveness in improving clinical skills, and whether we have reached a point of global acceptance. A PRISMA-guided global systematic review of the neurosurgical simulators available, a meta-analysis of their effectiveness, and an extended analysis of their progressive scholarly acceptance on studies meeting our inclusion criteria of simulation in neurosurgical education were performed. Improvement in procedural knowledge and technical skills was evaluated. Of the identified 7405 studies, 56 studies met the inclusion criteria, collectively reporting 50 simulator types ranging from cadaveric, low-fidelity, and part-task to virtual reality (VR) simulators. In all, 32 studies were included in the meta-analysis, including 7 randomised controlled trials. A random effects, ratio of means effects measure quantified statistically significant improvement in procedural knowledge by 50.2% (ES 0.502; CI 0.355; 0.649, p < 0.001), technical skill including accuracy by 32.5% (ES 0.325; CI - 0.482; - 0.167, p < 0.001), and speed by 25% (ES - 0.25, CI - 0.399; - 0.107, p < 0.001). The initial number of VR studies (n = 91) was approximately double the number of refining studies (n = 45) indicating it is yet to reach progressive scholarly acceptance. There is strong evidence for a beneficial impact of adopting simulation in the improvement of procedural knowledge and technical skill. We show a growing trend towards the adoption of neurosurgical simulators, although we have not fully gained progressive scholarly acceptance for VR-based simulation technologies in neurosurgical education.

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